Silver Stater of Alexander of Pherai Highlights at Nomos Ancient Coin Auction Tomarrow

By Paul Fraser Collectibles

The sale is based on the mysterious and exceptional collection owned by an unknown ‘BCD’

As we’ve noted, coin auctioneers Nomos are holding a spectacular sale of ancient coins next week, including some exceptionally fine rarities, notably a silver drachm from Naxos and a Lampsakos gold stater.

Alexander of Pherai Silver Stater of Alexander of Pherai Highlights at Nomos Ancient Coin Auction TomarrowActually, that’s not quite accurate. Nomos are actually holding not one but two fantastic auctions. The latter, which we had not yet covered before now, is the more mysterious: it is the sale of a private collection of the coins of Thessaly by a collector who wishes only to be known as BCD.

One of the highlights is a silver stater from the reign of Alexander of Pherai. The obverse shows the Head of Ennodia facing, turned slightly to the right, wearing a pearl diadem, grape-cluster earring and pearl necklace. On the left appears a torch.

The reverse displays the text AL- EXAN-D-R-EIOS circling Alexander, who is riding horse at a gallop to the right, the reins in his left hand and a lance held level in his right, wearing a cavalry helmet and cuirass, with his sheathed sword on a baldric around his chest.

Extremely rare, this is one of the most beautiful and impressive coins produced in 4th century Greece. It is lightly toned and in extremely fine condition.

Alexander of Pherai was one of the sons of the tyrant Jason, who was murdered by conspirators in 370 and was succeeded by his brother Polydoros who was, in turn, murdered by his own brother Polyphron.

Alexander, his nephew, murdered him in 369, and embarked on a rule of oppression and tyranny. He was a severe threat to the Aleuadai of Larissa so they called on Macedonian aid, which succeeded in forcing Alexander to flee Pherai.

After the Macedonians also withdrew, Larissa called for Theban aid, which arrived in the person of Pelopidas. This forced Alexander into an alliance with Athens, but by 364 he was defeated and forced into peace.

After the death of Epaminondas in 362, Alexander turned on his erstwhile Athenian allies and attacked them, even raiding the Piraeus. He was finally killed by his wife Thebe’s brothers, who she goaded to do so out of hatred for his cruelties.

‘BCD’ himself/herself is left almost speechless by the coin: “There isn’t much one can say about this stunning coin, it speaks for itself. Probably the best by far that has ever been offered at auction”. The coin is expected to sell for CHF50,000 (roughly $50,000).

The sale of the BCD collection will take place immediately after Nomos’ first auction, on May 10.

Posted in: Ancient Coins

About the Author:

Paul Fraser has been passionately involved in a wide spectrum of investment grade collectibles spanning over 35 years. He recently stepped down as Chairman (and owner) at Stanley Gibbons, the London Stock Market listed Collecting Company, which he helped to build from a $5 million Company to one worth over $100 million. Paul is a world renowned Beatles memorabilia expert and handled the deal that took John Lennon's childhood stamp collection, complete with his earliest known signature, to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. Paul has also been heavily involved in the rare stamp investing market and was responsible for the sale of the famous Kirkudbright Penny Black cover to the Royal Philatelic Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Paul has been involved with many of the collecting areas featured on this website, and has been responsible for over $300m of investment grade collectibles sales through various collectible companies.

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